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meganbaxter

meganbaxter

I'm a grad student, an avid reader, a huge nerd, fervent roleplayer, wife, cat lover, tea snob, and obsessive keeper of lists.
Freedom - Jonathan Franzen About halfway through this book, I didn't like any of the characters very much. But by the end, although I'm not sure I would have liked any of them any more, I kind of loved them. The first half of the book dwells so much on the Berglunds' foibles, on the ways they drive each other away and grate on each other and don't say the things that need to be said.

And yet, as the book goes on, more and more is revealed of why, of the issues standing in the way, and the ways that they truly, awkwardly and often badly try to overcome divisions that have torn their family apart. The characters who know what they want to do with their lives flounder in excess, and those who don't flounder in confusion. No one knows what to do with the freedom they have to live their lives the way they want, and yet, by the end, some of them have figured it out. And the answers have tended to be small.

Along the way, there are some digs at people who want to Change The World, in ways I was uncomfortable with, but lots of love for people who are trying to figure out how to change their own worlds to become places where they can live and work.

Work is an important issue - finding it, avoiding it, taking on morally suspect jobs for money, or a cause, with good intentions or mercenary ones.

I didn't adore Freedom. But I did enjoy it, in the end. It was just in the middle I was a little uneasy.